A wide cross section of Jamaicans in the Diaspora attended ‘Exposition 2009’, at the Mt. Pleasant Road Best Western Hotel, the closing ceremony for this year’s Bachelor of Science programme, held in Toronto, Canada, recently, for Jamaican students studying at the Western Hospitality Institute (WHI) in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The exposition was opened by High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Evadne Coye, who deputised for the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.
In his congratulatory message, the Minister applauded the Institute for the training initiative, and welcomed the promotion of Jamaica as a major tourist destination.
“Western Hospitality Institute must be commended for the dynamic role it is playing in preparing young Jamaicans to work in the hospitality industry and enhancing the level of professional skills from which the industry can benefit,” Mr. Bartlett said.
“This programme affords the students the opportunity to pursue professional development in Canada, where they are immersed in the French language. They were also exposed to diversified cultures, international classroom settings, first world facilities, tours of wineries and some of the best of Canada’s attractions,” he said.
High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Evadne Coye (centre); Founder and President
of Western Hospitality Institute (WHI), Dr. Cecil Cornwall (left); and Associate Dean of WHI, Omar Smith (right), at the recent ‘Exposition 2009’, in Toronto, Canada, the closing ceremony for students from the WHI studying in Canada.
The Minister also pointed out that in recent years Jamaica has been ranked in the top five of the world’s most favoured tourist destinations. “Having a beautiful country, great attractions and a fascinating culture, exemplified by good service, are factors to which much credit is to be given,” he said.
High Commissioner Coye congratulated the students and the Institute for its 20 years of beneficial relations with Constellation College; and for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Seneca College, which also advances the opportunities for Jamaicans to enhance their credentials in hospitality service delivery.
Dean of the Institute, Mr. Omar Smith, commended the Jamaican hospitality graduates for their application to the course of studies, pointing out that in addition to the promotion of various tourism regions, it provides an opportunity for the students to know their own environment, which generates a deeper understanding of their national identity and a sense of belonging to a unique culture. He expressed confidence that the graduates would bring a new level of service to the tourism industry in Jamaica.
Also at the exhibition were: Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Ms. Anne-Marie Bonner; Regional Director of Jamaica Tourist Board in Canada, Sandra Scott; District Sales Manager for Air Jamaica, Norma Sale; Sue Cobold of Travel Kiosk, and other representatives from Sunquest and Total Vacations.
The students, who represented various hotels from across the island, catered for the event, much to the delight of the many guests who enjoyed the Jamaican cuisine. Founder and President of the WHI, Dr. Cecil Cornwall, was the Master of Ceremonies, while student, Sasha Benjamin, gave the Vote of Thanks.